I'm creating a template on Illustrator CS6 but I'm not able to align elements properly when one of them have a style.

In this case, I have a rectangle with a dropshadow effect and when I try to align the text in the middle of the box, it's considering the whole height including the shadow.

The image below illustrate the problem, the text on the left (has the correct alignment position) was aligned without style and the text on the right was aligned with a dropshadow style.

It never happened to me before and I don't know what could be the cause of this problem.

enter image description here

  • are you sure isn't there any transparency mask applied? That would make the object box bigger.
    – Luciano
    May 27, 2016 at 14:47
  • @Luciano No. It's just the object with the drop shadow effect applied to it. May 27, 2016 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


In Illustrator's preferences there is an option to change an objects bounding box: Use Preview Bounds

enter image description here

With this selected the bounding box of an object (and therefor what is affected by alignment etc.) takes in to account any and all appearances that object has, including drop shadows or any other effects.

Turn this option off and your bounding box will only be made up of the objects paths, ignoring any strokes or effects. Your alignment should work as you want now.

If you like using the 'Preview Bounds' option you can just temporarily hide any effects that are affecting alignment in the appearance panel while you align your objects.

  • Thank you! This solved the problem. I just don't know how it got activated, maybe there is a shortcut I don't know. But now I know what is this used for. Thanks May 27, 2016 at 17:36
  • No shortcut that I know of. I'm pretty sure it's off by default though so it's possible.
    – Cai
    May 27, 2016 at 17:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.